I had only been married a year or two, I think, when Oprah started doing a segment called “Remembering Your Spirit” at the end of her shows. I actually have pretty vivid memories of that particular season of “Oprah” because we’d just bought our first house, and whenever I’d sit in my very own living room and watch an episode of “Oprah” on my very own television set, I felt a little bit like I thought grown-ups were supposed to feel. Granted, a lot of the “Remembering Your Spirit” stuff struck me as kind of New Age-y, but every once in awhile there would be an idea or a story that would strike a chord with me.
One afternoon Oprah used that last segment of the show to talk about the importance of creating a “personal space” in your home, and she featured a woman who carved out a space for reading in the corner of her bedroom. There was a beautiful chair, a pretty lamp, a few favorite books, a good candle, and a blanket. It was nothing fancy, but the woman alluded to the fact that after the push and pull of a busy day, that little space had become her sanctuary, a place where she could wind down and read and recharge.
When the show was over that day, I thought something along the lines of Well, that sounds very fancy. Even still, I’d think about that little space when I’d rearrange a room or shop for a new piece of furniture. At the time, though, I just didn’t see a need for a place in my house where I could sit and read and journal and drink my coffee. I wasn’t exactly in a routine with my quiet time back then, and if I wanted to read, I’d just pile up in the bed and read. Or pile up on the couch and read. Or pile up in the guest room and read.
It was a simpler time.
Once I became a mama, though, I started to identify with that need for a “space” – just one little area of our house that I could claim as my own. I tried making an office area in our bonus room, but the chair up there was really uncomfortable, and I had to turn my back on the room in order to sit there (a terrible idea when there’s a toddler running around). Once we moved in this house, I tried the office thing again, thinking it would be a great place for reading and devotion times – but I realized that I didn’t like being confined to a desk. I moved a chair into the room off of our kitchen, but it was really low and kind of awkward for coffee drinking and Bible study. I finally piled all my books and Bibles on the breakfast room table, and I’d just shove it all in a chair when I was finished.
Sometime last spring, though, I started sitting on the little gold sofa in the room off of our kitchen when I’d do my Bible study homework. I bought the sofa at an estate sale in my hometown, and it’s probably my favorite piece of furniture in our house, mainly because it makes me feel connected to the place where I grew up. Eventually I started sitting there in the mornings – in those sacred 30 minutes when I am the only one who’s awake – and I found a little table that’s just big enough for a stack of books and a cup of coffee. I sit there most Saturday mornings, too, when I have the luxury of extra time to read or study or catch up on various Interweb shenanigans, and I sit there late at night, when everybody else is asleep and I want to get a little writing done.
I haven’t really thought about it very much, but early yesterday morning, when I made my way to my corner of that sofa (with coffee in hand, of course), it dawned on me that that little spot is my sanctuary.
I didn’t plan it that way, but oh, do I ever love it. Even when I’m greeted by a Nerf hatchet that someone forgot to put away.
What’s your favorite place in your house?